Mass Audubon Cape Cod Wildlife Sanctuaries
Authors: Marco & Angelo

Authors: Marco & Angelo

We own the Candleberry Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast in central Cape Cod. We're glad to share our recommendations on all the great things to explore throughout Cape Cod.

7 Excellent Reasons to Visit Cape Cod in the Off-Season

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    Contrary to common belief, Cape Cod doesn’t completely shut down during the off-season — which generally starts in late September and ends by Memorial Day in May. Rather, Cape Cod in the shoulder and off-seasons still offers plenty of things to see and do. Plus, there are many more reasons to visit!

    Get our free Cape Cod Vacation Guide, full of the best things to do in Cape Cod. The best activities, restaurants, museums, events, views, and much more!

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    Mass Audubon Cape Cod Wildlife Sanctuaries

    Fewer People Visit & Prices Are Lower

    The summer season — June, July, August, and most of September — is the most attractive season for most people who want to visit Cape Cod. However, that means that there are more crowds at attractions and even traffic jams to get onto the Cape. In some towns, like Provincetown and Chatham, it can be hard to find parking.

    When you come in the spring, fall, or winter instead, there are so many fewer people that you don’t have to worry about traffic jams while crossing the Cape Cod Canal. Also, it’s easier to find parking spots in the quaint towns that you visit.

    On top of that, staying on Cape Cod in the off-season is less expensive because there’s less demand for lodging in general. Some attractions reduce their prices during the off-season as well, allowing you to do more with money.

    The Cape Remains as Beautiful as Ever to Explore

    You can see the beauty of the Cape’s landscape even clearer during the shoulder and off-seasons when there are fewer visitors. From the pine trees to the dunes to the beaches, exploring nature in the spring, fall, and even winter is unexpectedly appealing. Below are some recommended outdoor activities.

    Beaches & Parks

    Cape Cod has more than 500 miles of shoreline, so there are numerous beaches. While swimming isn’t a popular activity during the cooler seasons, walking in the sand and collecting rocks and shells can be very peaceful.

    Several beaches in Brewster are fantastic spots for beachcombing or watching the sunset. Some other great spots are Town Neck Beach & Boardwalk in Sandwich, Sandy Neck Beach in Barnstable, and Race Point Beach in Provincetown.

    Additionally, Cape Cod is home to tons of parks and protected wildlife areas. For instance, the West Barnstable Conservation Area and Brewster’s Nickerson State Park have lots of trails for exploring nature. There are even more trails within the Cape Cod National Seashore. Or, you could visit a handful of Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries.

    Biking Trails

    If you enjoy biking, you have a couple of exceptional options all year. The Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth is more than 11 miles long, while the Cape Cod Canal Bikeway in Buzzards Bay is more than 13 miles long. Then, there’s the Cape Cod Rail Trail that stretches for more than 25 miles from South Yarmouth to Wellfleet!

    Scenic Tours

    Are you looking for a different way to see Cape Cod’s natural beauty? You can book various types of scenic tours. On the water, Bay Spirit Tours in Hyannis takes visitors on an array of cruises — lighthouse, music, sunset, and sailing tours.

    For a view of the Cape from the sky, head to Chatham Airport for sightseeing tours with Stick’n Rudder Aero Tours. Also, Art’s Dune Tours offers one-hour tours, dune and water tours, and sunset tours at the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown.

    Mass Audubon Cape Cod Wildlife Sanctuaries

    Cape Cod Lighthouses Are Always Picturesque

    No matter when you visit Cape Cod, it’s always a good time to tour a lighthouse. You can actually climb some of the towers, but even when you can’t, you can get picturesque photos and make lifelong memories. There are 15 lighthouses to visit on the Cape, but here are a few that we recommend seeing.

    Bass River Light

    In West Dennis, Bass River Lighthouse was built in 1855 and was one of the last light towers erected on the Cape. Now privately owned, you can get awesome views and photos from the nearby beach and Lighthouse Inn Rd.

    Three Sisters Lighthouses

    The Three Sisters Lighthouses have an interesting history. The original towers were lost to coastal erosion, and the replacements are no longer in their original locations. At their home within the Cape Cod National Seashore in Eastham, you can walk around them and the surrounding grounds.

    Highland Lighthouse

    One of the most popular lighthouses on Cape Cod, Highland Lighthouse in Truro was originally built in 1797 under the commission of George Washington. The current tower and keeper’s house were erected in 1857. Except for during repairs, you can tour both structures.

    Many Museums Are Still Open for History & Cultural Experiences

    Aside from an abundance of nature, you’ll find tons of museums on Cape Cod. Some top picks include the Sandwich Glass Museum, the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port, and the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis. However, there are so many more to visit!

    Woods Hole Science Aquarium

    Established in 1885, the Woods Hole Science Aquarium is a premier spot for marine biology study. It has an indoor aquarium and an outdoor seal enclosure, showcasing about 140 species of marine wildlife.

    Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

    A museum with a little bit of everything, the target=”_blank”Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster is open all year except for holidays. It has an aquarium, beehives, butterfly house, nature trails, archaeological investigations, and so many other exhibits.

    John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

    Just one component of the Kennedy Compound on Cape Cod, the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum offers a look into the lives and accomplishments of the 35th president and his family. It even includes the Hyannis Kennedy Legacy Trail, which you walk while reading informative displays about the family.

    Cape Cod Central Railroad

    Although not a museum in the traditional sense, the Cape Cod Central Railroad takes you on narrated excursions around the Cape. The trains depart from Buzzards Bay, West Barnstable, and Hyannis. Right after Thanksgiving and just before Christmas, you have the chance to book The Polar Express Train Ride.

    Things to Do in Cape Cod - JFK Hyannis Museum
    photo via JFK Hyannis Museum

    Indoor Entertainment & Seasonal Festivals Are Available

    Even during the off-season, Cape Cod is bustling with entertainment of all kinds, including festivals for every season. Let’s look at some of the ways that you can enjoy your time watching live performances, bowling, ice skating, and attending events.

    Live Performances

    There are several places where you can catch a live performance on the Cape — from music to theatre arts. The Falmouth Theatre Guild is home to Broadway-like musicals, while the Barnstable Comedy Club is one of the longest operating live community theatres and puts on more than just comedy shows throughout the year.

    Also, the Brazen Belles Burlesque group is the only troupe of its kind on Cape Cod and has performances in various venues. You can see a range of shows at the Cape Rep Theatre in Brewster and catch a variety of entertainment at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis.

    Bowling Alleys

    Bowling is a wonderful way to entertain yourself on a day that’s rainy or just too cold to spend outside. There are several places where you can go bowling on Cape Cod, including:

    Ice Skating on Cape Cod

    One of the best things to do on Cape Cod during winter is go ice skating. After all, you’re wearing winter gear already. Two locations that we recommend are Tony Kent Arena in Dennis and Charles Moore Arena in Orleans, both of which offer public skating.

    Seasonal Events

    All year, Cape Cod is active with festivals and events of all kinds. The Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, for instance, plans events for every season — the Rhododendron Festival in the spring, the Sandwich Halloween Festival in the fall, and Gardens Aglow in the winter.

    Other popular events that are fun to attend include Brewster in Bloom during spring, the Yarmouth Seaside Festival and Wellfleet Oysterfest in fall, and the First Night Celebrations in Sandwich, Chatham, and Provincetown during winter.

    Cape Cod Restaurants Continue Serving Delicious Food

    While some restaurants are only open seasonally on Cape Cod, many are open all year. And, generally, all the seafood tastes even better during the cooler months — perhaps it’s the colder water temperature.

    Whether you want seafood, comfort food, or dessert, you’ll find Cape Cod restaurants to satisfy your cravings. Here are just a few of our favorites.

    Water Street Kitchen

    In Woods Hole, Water Street Kitchen makes everything on its menu from scratch, so it only uses seasonal ingredients. From October through May, every Wednesday features a different fried chicken recipe.

    The Brewster Fish House

    A staple in Brewster, The Brewster Fish House has a contemporary bistro-style menu. The dishes are constantly changing because they’re based on whatever fresh, seasonal ingredients are available. The restaurant has a robust wine list too!

    The Mews Restaurant & Cafe

    Near the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown, The Mews Restaurant & Cafe serves burgers, sandwiches, and a range of main dishes — such as duck leg confit, filet mignon, grilled lamb chops, and roasted half chicken. You can enjoy your meal in one of two dining rooms with views of Provincetown Harbor and Cape Cod Bay.

    Candleberry Inn Cape Cod Night

    Candleberry Inn Welcomes You to Cape Cod in the Off-Season

    Whether you plan a Cape Cod getaway in the fall, spring, or summer months, Candleberry Inn is always happy to make your stay cozy and comfortable. Our Brewster bed and breakfast is steeped in history and within driving distance of all the best things to do on Cape Cod.

    Our nine guest rooms and suites feature luxurious amenities and bathroom upgrades. And, alongside our gourmet breakfast, you’ll have access to a variety of other on-site amenities — a guest pantry with appliances and dishes, reading material, and trip planning assistance. Check our rates and availability for your travel dates!

    Get our free Cape Cod Vacation Guide, full of the best things to do in Cape Cod. The best activities, restaurants, museums, events, views, and much more!

    Click here to request the guide.

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